This week's goals

A planner outline for this week. Along the side of the day grid are the words, “You only have one deadline this week. Everything else is gravy.”

Be kind, including to myself. Change the ‘To Do’ list to ‘Pick a Thing You Can Handle’. Change the daily list from ‘things I have to do’ to ’things I got done’. Take care of external deadline stuff; everything else is gravy. Check in with others. Don’t hide from calls with friends & family: that’s where my centre is. Deal with that anxiety elephant one bite at a time. Don’t forget to eat. Breathe.

Close up of a coir-lined hanging basket filled with fresh soil. On top of the soil sits a plate of sprouted seeds and a packet of Bloody Mary nasturtium seeds.
Make time to play in the dirt.

The little things

It’s Thanksgiving up in Canuckia today, and my far-flung siblings and their children gathered in Vancouver this weekend to celebrate. Thanksgiving isn’t quite the huge deal back home that it is in the USI mean, it’s a fairly big deal, but in my experience, at least, December is when people really pull out the stops to get to where their family isbut this Thanksgiving’s a special one. This year, there’s a brand new Elliott to be thankful for. (And Werb. She is half Werb, and that’s a good thing to be, too.) My sadness at not being there is somewhat lessened by the knowledge that I’ve sent some thankfulness for this new tiny human in the form of baby knits, and these will be there, and that makes it a bit more okay. And hey, now that they’ve arrived, I can show them off to you! So here we go: tiny knits, round 1.

all the baby knits Continue reading

On car horns and clouds and online spaces

selfish knitting on the dock

I ran away to the lake this week, and I did something I haven’t done in years: I went offline. I set up a vacation auto-reply on my business email and resisted the urge to say “I will check my email occasionally, so…” or “I’ll be responding more slowly than usual, but…” With surprising difficulty, I left it at “I will be away and offline until Thursday.” I did use a bird identification app* a few times, which seemed like an okay thing to do as there were so many birds and I wanted to know what they were.

Great Blue Heron flying over the lake Continue reading

Help with Harvey relief while making something beautiful

I’ve been watching and reading about the unimaginable devastation to Houston and coastal Texas, and wondering what I could do to help. I could make stuff, but the logistics of dealing with stuff in a disaster make that more of a curse than a blessing. What they really need is cash in the hands of people who know where the help is most needed, and are able to do the most good. So here’s what I’m doing:

From now until midnight on Saturday, CDT, 100% of my income from pattern sales on Ravelry will go to the United Way of Houston’s Relief Fund and to the SPCA of Texas, two local organizations who do good work and will make good use of the money. To be clear: that’s everything that hits my account from Ravelry for the next four days (and tonight). It’s a small thing in the face of such need, but it’s a thing I can do. Help me do it right.

EElliottKnits Pattern Collage 2

Photos by Gale Zucker.

Handspun inspiration

The next round of samples is almost done, and I’m ready for a break. Between indie releases and commissions, I’ve been going pretty much non-stop since July, so I’ve promised myself at least two weeks away from sample knitting when these are out the door.

samples
Today’s project: redo the crown shaping on that hat.

Once these are off, I’ll need to spend a day or so digging the apartment out from under the mess that accumulates during a big work bender. After that, though, ohhhhh, yes. I’ve got more plans than could reasonably be accomplished: set up my workspace, finally; finish himself’s sweater, which has been a sleeve and a button band/collar away from done since April; get started on at least one of the sweaters I’ve been sketching and swatching for myself; finish my Circular Reasoning cowl before another winter’s come and gone; play Fallout 4 until my eyes bleed…it’s a very long list, and I won’t get to all of it, and I’m okay with that. The thing I’m most looking forward to, though (apart from exploring the post-nuclear wasteland), is getting re-acquainted with my spinning wheel. Continue reading

Home again, home again

 

Here we are, back in Birmingham. After a day of sleep and a day of running errands (including replacing my phone, lost, presumed stolen, in the wilds of Toronto), I’m ready to tackle Mount Laundry, put the luggage away, and get back to work. Though I moved away so long ago, Toronto still feels like home to me: my big city face and fast-walking feet snapped into place like they were just waiting to come out and play. Still, it’s nice to be back where things move more slowly, in the place where I keep my tea things and my knitting chair and my cats and my deck full of plants and my own bathroom with a shower that doesn’t require a pilot’s license to operate. (Seriously, y’all should’ve seen the shower at the last place we stayed.)

In between family time and wedding chuppah-holding and birthdaying (the day after one sister’s wedding was the other sister’s birthday) and such, I managed to visit a few yarn shops, exhibiting admirable restraint (in my humble opinion), at least until the end. Unfortunately, that restraint extended to taking photos, for which I’m kicking myself now. However, here’s the rundown, in the order visited: Continue reading

Fibre in the mountains

Well, SAFF was wonderful. Of course. I only tasted a bit of it, because I didn’t get it together to book classes and my non-fibre-obsessed friend had taken the weekend off for my visit, so I mostly wandered around on Friday and took everything in and got a feel for the thing. The thing, let me tell you, can be pretty overwhelming. A lot of the classes looked amazing, though: the schedule’s gone from the site now, but I remember seeing spinning instructors like Abby Franquemont and Judith MacKenzie, and a colour theory class with Franklin Habit, so that should give you some idea of the lineup. Fortunately, the fleece judging was open to all attendees, so I spent a very happy hour watching Judith MacKenzie walk us through many, many primitive breed fleeces.

Ms. MacKenzie lays down some knowledge about Jacob sheep.
Ms. MacKenzie lays down some knowledge about Jacob sheep.

Continue reading

On the Confederate flag: a rare (possibly unique) political post

My sister emailed me from Canada to ask what I thought about the issue of Confederate flags in the South, and after some consideration, I’ve decided to post my reply to her here. Though I have strong opinions on a range of issues, I generally don’t write about those opinions in this space. This is a fibre arts blog, and I try to keep it free of the strife and antagonism that’s easily found all over the internet in our increasingly shouty climate. Once I wrote these thoughts out for her, however, I realized that I wanted to put them out there. I hope you will bear with me. This won’t become a regular thing, I promise. Continue reading